Archive for August, 2009

Calling Dr. Robot
—Posted Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 10:16 pm— « »

Today we had a special visitor come meet our employees during my bi-weekly CEO Forum meeting. The visitor is our new robot. We got a demonstration of how the robot works and how it will have a positive impact on patient care. I enjoy having these opportunities to meet with members of the staff and to take the time to talk to them about what is going on and to answer any questions that they may have.


Sidney Colaco
—Posted Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 10:02 pm— « »

Today, Sidney Colaco was the guest speaker at our Fort Bragg Rotary Club. Sidney is a bright engaging young man who has been working at our hospital as a student intern for the past 3 1/2 weeks. Sidney is a 2nd year graduate school student at the University of Southern California (USC). It has been a pleasure to have him working at our hospital this summer. It always seems like we learn as much, or more, from our students than they learn from us.

Today, Sidney spoke about the field of Engineering Management, the applications that it has for hospital operations (including the work that he has been doing at our hospital during the past month) and he spoke about his home country, India. He made a very good impression on our Rotary Club. Members saw the value of his work, and how it could be used to help other businesses and government. I have no doubt that Sidney has a very bright future ahead of him. I truly hope that I will be able to keep in touch with him as he completes his education and embarks on a very exciting career.

Service Excellence
—Posted Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 11:40 pm— « »

Our number one priority at Mendocino Coast District Hospital is to earn the confidence of the citizens and population of the Mendocino Coast that they will receive excellent quality medical care whenever they may need to use the services of our hospital. That means that we need to recruit and retain quality health care professionals and support staff. I feel very confident that we have done that.

It also means that compassionate care, which emphasizes respect and courtesy for all of our customers (patients, visitors, medical staff, other members of our own staff) must be a trademark of our culture. To that purpose, we are providing education to our staff on enhancing service excellence to all members of our staff.

Our instructor for this education is Carol Scofield, who is doing a great job. Today we finished phase one on excellence in communications. Phase two, which will deal with diffusing difficult situations will be next and will begin next week. Stay tuned for more information on our service excellence program.

First Class Hospital Care
—Posted Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 10:05 pm— « »

I’m sure that everyone expects me to be biased when it comes to talking about hospital care at Mendocino Coast District Hospital. I have no problem telling anyone that if I have to be in the hospital this is where I would want to be. I think that our medical staff, nursing staff, clinical and support staff take a back seat to NO ONE.

Last week I had an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is. I was the recipient of my first, ever, surgery (it was a hernia repair surgery). I have NO doubt that EVERYONE that comes to MCDH for surgery receives exactly the same care that I received. A special thanks to everyone that assisted me in having a superior hospital service, including patient registration, laboratory and of course, outpatient surgery. A special thanks to my nurses, Beth Ward and Kathy Nielsen. Also a thanks to my doctors, Dr. Linda James and Dr. John Kerman. I wanted to have a successful surgery and a quick recovery. I am well on my way. I had surgery last Wednesday and I was back at work 5 days later on Monday. That is what I call a “Center of Excellence.” Thank you to all.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
—Posted Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 9:55 pm— « »

On Sunday, August 2 I paid off a bet. I had bet Tom Birdsell, our Board Chair (and a great guy) that my Los Angeles Dodgers would beat his Philadelphia Phillies to make it into last year’s World Series. Well, the Phillies beat the Dodgers and then went on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays (great name for a baseball team) in the World Series. The loser of the LA – Philly series was to treat the winner to a game in San Francisco this summer.

On Sunday, I paid off the bet. We both wore our Philadelphia Phillies hats to the game (It’s dangerous to wear a Dodgers hat to ATT Park). But, unfortunately for us, the Giants won the game. Congratulations to the Giants. Go Dodgers!

American Hospital Association Board of Directors
—Posted Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 9:22 pm— « »

The American Hospital Association Board of Directors held their most recent quarterly meeting in San Francisco. I loved having a short travel distance for a change. While my fellow Board members did the travelling. They came here from Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baton Rouge, Seattle and all over the country.

It was a special pleasure for me that this time, 3 members of the AHA Board travelled up to the Mendocino Coast during time off either before or after the meeting. I love this area and I was glad that some of these health care leaders were able to see it.

For the past 3 years it has been my honor and privilege to serve as a member of the 25-person Board of Directors for the American Hospital Association. I still cannot believe that a hospital administrator from a small critical access hospital in a rural community could have been selected to serve in such a prestigious capacity with this group of National health care leaders.

The honor has been magnified by the fact that this Board is highly involved in the National Healthcare debate that is going on in Washington, DC right now. From my experience on this Board and through my travels meeting hospital executives across the country, my opinion is that hospital leaders are ready to embrace change. We are willing to do our part by participating in payment reform in which hospitals are paid for their performance and in which we reward hospitals for becoming safer and promoting preventative care and wellness.

However, we are also looking for the other major components of health care spending (e.g. pharmaceuticals, health care insurance, information technology, etc) to do their part as well. I am looking forward to the day when universal health care coverage becomes a reality. It may happen sooner than anticipated under the current administration, or it could be many years away still. But, every US citizen, regardless of their circumstance or where they live (rural or urban) deserves the best health care that we can offer. It will be easier when no one has to worry about health insurance.